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Set on the Flesh or Submitted to God?

Daily Reading: Romans 8

Scripture Focus: The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. (Romans 8.7)

Devotional Thought: Have you ever been on a diet? I guess we all are on some form of a diet, aren't we? I sometimes find myself - when my belt gets a little snug - trying to curtail my intake in order to reduce my weight. Generally what happens then is that that I think about food all the more! Especially ice cream! For some reason, I can't get ice cream off my mind in the evenings. What I have found is that the more I think about ice cream, the more I want ice cream. Setting my mind on ice cream is a sure way to eat ice cream!

Just as ice cream is hostile to weight loss, so a mind set on the flesh is hostile to God. Your flesh - that part of you that craves satisfaction - will lead you to do things that you know are not good for you - eat too much, look at the wrong things, avoid exercise, seek attention, and other things more harmful. Our flesh cannot be reasoned with. It must be 1) surrendered to God and 2) disciplined.

There is a war that takes place in the heart of a believer. Who is going to be master? Will it be my flesh or will it be the Lord? If we choose to satisfy the flesh, we find ourselves in a hostile position toward God. Maybe not right away, but an un-surrendered and undisciplined flesh will certainly rear its ugly head - and usually at the most inopportune times!

Thankfully, as Paul reveals in another letter, there is a solution: "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" (Galatians 5.16)

Are you walking by the Spirit?

Prayer: Father, forgive me for setting my mind on the things of the flesh. Help me, O Lord, to walk by the Spirit today and thus to please God.

Psalm of the Day: 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. (Psalms 22:20-24)

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